Expanding Russia-Iran-Turkey Alliance Puts the US on Back-Foot

US power is waning in the Middle East as an emerging alliance among Russia, Iran, Turkey and Qatar gathers strength. “Most alarming for America,” according to author and historian Dilip Hiro, “Turkey is NATO’s easternmost member with the second largest military in the defense partnership” and “Qatar provides the Pentagon’s Central Command with its forward base, the region’s largest.” Hiro details the longstanding geopolitical and economic rationales for the strengthening alliance: muddled foreign policy from an inexperienced US administration that prefers self-isolating “America first” policies, Qatar’s quest to prevent domination by Saudi Arabia, bumbling attempts by Saudi Arabia to prevail over rival Iran, and Russia taking the lead on peace talks to end Syria’s civil war. Iran and Turkey are grateful for Russian energy and even Europe relies on such energy cooperation. Hiro concludes that Washington is “reconciling itself to a lower profile in the fast-changing geopolitics of Eurasia.” – YaleGlobal